EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 1, 2014

Ford Escape wins fans coast to coast

The word coming from the West Coast is that certain Ford vehicles are now highly prized by trend watchers. Those are the California people who care more about the image they project – what other people think of the car they drive – than they care about how well that car serves them.

No doubt they’ve noticed that Ford’s trio of top-sellers – the Focus and Fusion passenger cars and the Escape crossover wagon – look good on a driver. All three models are artfully sculpted in a bold and contemporary style. The small Focus looks pert, perky and ready for action. The middle-sized Fusion appears skillful and seriously kinetic. The Escape, a compact, five-passenger utility vehicle available in front- and all-wheel drive, is fluidly shaped and handsomely proportioned. It wraps the practical, haul-it-all usefulness of a sport-utility vehicle in a trim, tidy, and curvaceous body.

But as insecure, image-obsessed drivers on the Pacific coast just catch on to the fact that those models are cool, Merrimack Valley motorists are already there.

That’s especially true of the Ford Escape. Of the three trendy cruisers, Escape is the top seller at Regan Ford in Haverhill.

“We sell one every day,” noted Joseph Cullinan, sales manager at the dealership.

Now remember, we’re not talking about bread, milk or eggs. These are automobiles. They’re big-ticket items. A model selling at a rate of one a day from a community dealership adds up to a very big success.

What’s more, Cullinan reports that the Escape’s popularity comes from more than just its good looks. Sure, people like its appearance both inside and out, he said. The cabin of the Ford Escape echoes the same confident, lead-the-way stylishness as the exterior. You see that front and center, in the equipment and controls clustered in the middle of the dashboard. A big pod keeps entertainment and communication features consolidated in one, easy-to-reach and easy-to-view module that floats like an island on the surrounding dashboard, which is sensuously rounded and recessed. Beneath the pod, climate controls nest in a wide, sloping extension that drops down to the shift lever between the front seats. The slant of that extension from the dash – rather than a straight drop to the floor – gives a cockpit-like feel to the front seats. It also enables the climate controls to look up at you at an angle so they’re all the easier to operate.

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